Cameron Maybin played 15 MLB seasons in his career, so no one is shocked to learn he’s touched a lot of baseballs in his life, but the admission just sounds different coming from him.
Maybin was in the YES Network broadcast booth alongside play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco for Wednesday afternoon’s New York Yankees–Seattle Mariners matchup. In the second inning, YES cameras showed a close-up of someone rubbing a box of baseballs in the Yankees bullpen.
“Mesmerizing,” Ruocco said before he perfectly set Maybin up for an interesting quip by asking, “you ever sit there and do that?”
“Yeah, I’ve rubbed up quite a few balls in my life.”
*18 seconds of silence* pic.twitter.com/GOu5Rr2P4d
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) August 10, 2022
“Yeah, I was a bat boy for two years” Maybin answered. “So, yeah, I’ve rubbed up quite a few balls in my life.”
This wasn’t quite Ruben Amaro Jr. claiming Pete Rose had the “hardest wood I’ve ever touched” during a Philadelphia Phillies broadcast. It also wasn’t Pedro Martinez informing the national TBS audience that “I dictate how I want my balls rubbed up.” But what made Maybin’s accidental innuendo perfect was the 18 seconds of silence that followed.
Baseball isn’t the fastest of games, and it allows for breaks in the conversation, especially in the TV booth where the announcers aren’t required to be as descriptive as on radio. But it’s very fair to assume the 18 seconds of silence that followed Maybin’s “I’ve rubbed up quite a few balls in my life,” was caused by uncontrollable laughter in the booth. Because as much as we all like to pretend we’re mature, some immaturities just can’t be helped.
“I’m sure it was a good learning experience,” Ruocco said to finally break the silence.
Maybin’s ball comment came on the same day that Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported YES hopes to bring the retired outfielder back to the booth for a second season next year.